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Epi LP mods


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I recently purchased an ebony LP standard. I would really like upgrade the pickups, caps and pots. Is this worth the money and effort? I realize I will never get a gibby LP sound, but will new pups and guts increase the articulation and remove the bottom end mud? Is there anyone who actively plays both a Gibby and Epi LP standard who has experience is getting the most Gibby like sound from the Epi? I would assume the difference in body and cap thickness would play a huge role. Any help is greatly appreciated

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I don't think it makes a huge difference.

and I think you can get a gibson sound out of an epiphone.


a good deal of it has to do with proper set up, and electronics.

after that it's, in my opinion, finer point differences between the two brands, and totally dependent upon the actual guitars being compared.


New pots. CTS.. good caps. recommend sprague, decent wire..

that alone will improve your sound.

but the mud is the pups fault, primarily.


which gibson is the next question.

If you want gibson sound you don't necessarily have to get gibson pups because basically everyone's been copying them for years doing the same thing.

PAF sound is available in several brands and quite a few of those are very close if not spot on.

but personal taste will have to be your judge there.


In here you hear GFS .. saves you money, gets good reviews..

duncans.. well aren't they always.. and with reason..

kent armstrongs. my personal choice.. and I like vintage tone and output.

dimarzio and emg rank pretty well in here, too and are good choices. all of this again depending on which pup of these brands you choose.


By the way, I sell caps and pots.. and I wire them on a card.. switch and jack too, if you want..

you pay for the parts, I assemble them to pop in free..and I sell for less.


usually folks choose sprague orange drops, CTS pots, and switchcraft for switch and output jack.

cloth covered wire is what I use for hot, and rubber coated for ground. shrink tubing on all cloth covered

wire ends so it can't fray.

make sure you get the correct knobs. CTS doesn't carry metric splines.. so you need usa spline knobs..

I think you can get Alpha pots with metric splines and I think they're just as good really.

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Thanks for the info Twang.


Shortly after I bought my Epi, I jammed with a guy who has a mid 90's standard. I thought my Epi sounded great when I bought it, I was somewhat crestfallen when I heard it up against my buds Gibby.


That was the sound I wanted, however, it seems to me that the difference in mass and density between the two guitars was the real kicker. I don't want to spend alot of $$$ and not be happy with the sound. I understand there's risk involved.


Before and after sound clips would be nice, anyone have any?


BTW I'm not knocking the Epi at all it is a great axe, I personally haven't seen the QC issues I hear so much about.

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You can definitely get into the ballpark with a pickup swap. Don't waste your time futzing with the pots and caps unless there's an actual problem with any of those components; in my experience you won't really hear a big difference. It's a good idea to re-wire the guitar more or less from scratch (I keep the wire that goes to the switch) and you definitely want to get rid of that orfy-gorfy connector as it's nothing but a hassle waiting to occur. Changing the pickups will do a lot to improve the electrical half of the equation... at which point you will start to get a better handle on the acoustic side which is of course governed by the actual construction and the material (i.e. wood) differences between the Epi and the Gibson. It's a subtle, nuanced comparison but nonetheless that's where the wall is.


P.S. if you want real Gibson tone you have to find the cheapest, crappiest caps on the market; that's what Gibson uses. O:)

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QC at epi has been getting better and better all the time. I've had two cheapos.. g310 and lp 100 and both were excellent throughout.

one bad output jack.. was just a tad too short at the shaft.


as far as A/B comparisons go.. duplicate the amp, strings, even the set up, the pickups and all electronics.. I doubt you're going to find that

sound clip.


Your buddys guitar have the same pups as you? same controls? was he using the same amp? same string guage?

there could be a lot of things contirbuting to his sound that are different besides body wood.


I'm not going to argue that higher quality woods can't make a difference.

But I will argue that an epi can't do the job just as well as any other.. most things being equal.

It's the nature of the beast. there is not so good good tone wood, too.


for me, the three epis with humbucks, the two above and my own lp studio, all suffered on the low end especially.

they seemed flat in the lows.. so much that even after tweaking set up the low E and A sounded muted compared to the other strings.

lp studio wasn't nearly so much as the others.

popped in some kent armstrongs, new electronics, problem solved, tone fine.

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Its funny, you can put the money and mods into an Epi and get some great results. I'd say that you really need to watch the dough that you put in though because you can creep up into the Elitist and Gibby Studio range quite easily. Money aside, can you get a great sound and tone with a modded Epi? Of course!! You can't really mod how it FEELS though. That to me is huge. My playing is not very inspired on an instrument that feels uninspiring in the first place. If you pick up the guitar and it feels great to YOU, only then is the guitar worth going with, and modding IMO. I'm not talking just a set up, but the substantial feel of the guitar, neck, quality, materials etc. I played 2 different Epi Customs at a shop last Saturday, one felt like a toy, the other felt GREAT!!! I'll have the great one please.......

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Thanks to all for the advice. I played my Epi thru my friends rig. I'm not sure what pups his Gibby had in it.

It had a BIG sound tho' and and rang like a bell.


I'm just struggling w/wether or not to invest in new pups. Probably wont do anything w/other electronics. (thanx



I love everything about the Epi but would like to get it closer to GLP sound. The feel (except weight) is Gibson all the way.


I once owned and Epi SG and thought it had a toylike feel.


I also once owned a Gibby Les Paul standard when I was 16, but traded it for a Kramer Vanguard because the LP wasn't "metal" enough. How's that for the folly of youth?


My tastes and playing have since matured

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Total cost of mods with mine were 200.00 bucks:

Gibson "T-tops, 75.00

Gotoh bridge, 60.00

TP6, free

Switchcraft, 15.00

Pickguard, 20.00

Allparts knobs, 15.00

Setup, 40.00 (includes frets leveled, dressed, neck adjusted, nut filed.

Gold screws for pickups, free

The only thing it really needed because they were in my view substandard were the pickups, and the selector switch, other than that, it was a pretty bangin' guitar right outta the box!

Edit: I removed the pickguard to show off the quilt...anyone need a white pearloid guard?

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Hi, go to www.guitarfetish.com and look at their GFS pickups. E-mail John with what you want and he will provide you with his recommendation. I put GFS 59's in my Sheraton and they made a world of difference. Good quality pups and solidly built. Good luck.

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